History - Suwannee River Junior College

Read More About the History of NFC and SRJC

In 1958 when the state of Florida established North Florida College, it also established a system of segregated junior colleges for African-American students, one of which was Suwannee River Junior College located in Madison, Florida. SRJC existed from 1959 until 1966 as one of the "Magnificent 12," the name often used to described Florida's historically black junior colleges, before merging with NFC (then North Florida Junior College) in 1966.

2017 Jenyethel Merritt Award for Civic Service

Deloris M. Jones of Madison County is the 2017 Jenyethel Merritt Award for Civic Service Award recipient. NFC honored Jones and fellow award nominee Gladys Roann-Watson of Jefferson County on June 24, 2017, during a ceremony at Van H. Priest Auditorium.

A Note from Deloris M. Jones

The late Jenyethel Merritt was an inspiring and insightful woman; she had a heart and soulful beauty with a thoughtful, caring, loving and giving spirit. I had the opportunity to meet this phenomenal woman in August 1961, when I was employed as Madison County Extension Agent. It was a pleasure to be in her company. Her knowledge of working with different race of people inspired me to become colorless. Her contributions were outstanding as well as profitable to the community and our world. She received honors from numerous organizations for her outstanding leadership. Mrs. Merritt played a vital part in voter regulation for Blacks in Madison County. It has been said, “God prepares his people for a job that one may not think he or she can do.” Mrs. Merritt completed her task of leadership. A JOB WELL DONE!!

See Feature in Fall 2017 Connections Magazine

2016 Jenyethel Merritt Award for Civic Service

2016 Jenyethel Merritt Award for Civic Service Nominees

Shirley A. Washington is the 2016 Jenyethel Merritt Award for Civic Service Award recipient.

NFC honored a total of seven outstanding award nominees on June 25 during the Jenyethel Merritt Award for Civic Service Award and Celebration Ceremony at Van H. Priest Auditorium and following Award and Scholarship Banquet in the NFC Student Center. Nominees honored for their dedication, service and contributions to the NFC community are Sarah Higginbotham, Dr. Rosalie "Rose" A. Hill, Keysha Horn, Deloris M. Jones, Elesta Pritchett, Flora Woodfaulk and award winner Shirley A. Washington. The award is named in honor of the late Jenyethel Merritt who served as president of the historic Suwannee River Junior College and was the first female president to lead a public Florida community college.

Former FAMU President Dr. Walter L. Smith, author of The "Magnificent Twelve: Florida's Black Junior Colleges", was the guest speaker at the Award and Scholarship Banquet and Dr. Eugene L. White, retired educator and former SRJC band director, provided music for the event. Proceeds from the banquet will benefit student scholarships at NFC.

NFC is celebrating the historic Suwannee River Junior College (1959-1966) throughout 2016. This year marks the 50th anniversary of SRJC's merger with NFC, then North Florida Junior College, in 1966. SRJC played an important role in the history of NFC, the Florida College System and education in our community.

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“The Merritt family greatly appreciates the opportunity to be a part of this historical and intriguing event for our mother, grandmother and mother-in-law with gratitude and honor,” said Candida Merritt Akins. "We would like to congratulate Mrs. Washington on the wonderful bestowed contributions gifted to her community. In addition, I would like to acknowledge all of the nominees, who showed and exemplified their outstanding duties in their civil services to the people within their communities. As a Humanist, I applaud all and encourage their continued success, support and contributions to our communities. Your contributions, time, finances and your love makes a difference in every way.”